Christopher closes one chapter and starts a new one.

Monday, July 10, 2023
Proud Gaucho, Christopher Zapata

All great things must come to an end, and in Christopher’s case, it just means moving on to even better things. GCC has been a huge part of Christopher’s life since 2014 when he began attending classes, through the ACE Plus program, while still in high school.  After graduating from Trevor Browne High School, Christopher became a full-time student in 2016. As a first-generation college student, he didn’t have anyone to guide him on the enrollment process or how to go about choosing classes, much less map out his academic plan.  In stepped Ricardo “Rico” Moran. “Rico was one of the first people I met when I came on campus.” Stated Christopher. “He took me under his wing and showed me all of the possibilities. It was Rico who encouraged me to look at STEM Skills, which set me on my path. He really paved the way for me.” Christopher went on to say that Rico represents all the great things about GCC, that everyone is here to help you succeed and they genuinely care about your future. 

While still in high school and contemplating his future Christopher always thought that only the best athletes and smartest kids when on to college. While at GCC he realized that college can be for anyone who works hard and applies themselves. He added, “From a very young age my parents instilled in me the importance of going to college.”

As Christopher prepares for graduation, he said that he can’t help but reflect back on all of the positive attributes at GCC, the many great experiences, all the opportunities, and the people that impacted his life. He noted the wonderful diversity of students, faculty and staff at GCC. “There are so many people from different backgrounds, yet everyone interacts so naturally with one another, we all mesh together and realize that we aren’t that different from one another after all.”

Joining the Male Empowerment Network and Associated Student Government really helped broaden his horizons. Also, the opportunity to work part-time in the counseling department, in Gaucho 101 and most recently as a pre-screener in the enrollment center have helped him grow and learn. 

Christopher commented that Connie Greenwell had a major impact on his time at GCC. “She pushed me to get involved and learn how to tackle challenging situations. He also cited two members of the college police, Officers Willie Jackson and Charles Herrera. “By getting to know them, I understand that they are here to make everyone on campus feel safe. They are so passionate about wanting to help and aid people.”

Christopher has exciting plans after he graduates. “I am enrolled in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU. My focus will be Biological & Health Systems and Engineering. I am fascinated by the mechanics of the human body.” 

Perhaps the thing that Christopher is most proud of is the influence he has had on his younger siblings; motivating them to do their best and push themselves.